Sept. 4, 2018 — With over 50 African countries represented at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit, there was an opportunity for these countries to sign bilateral economic agreements, make political statements in support of the Belt and Road Initiative, and have bilateral meetings among the leaders. The following are a few reported in the African media.
* A Chinese consortium comprising The Dongfang Electric manufacturing company and Shanghai Electric, and the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, signed a $4.4 billion agreement to build a clean-coal power station in Egypt, China Central Television reported. It will be located 500 miles from Cairo and made up of six units with a total capacity of 6.6 gigawatts. Construction is planned to be completed in six years.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi held meetings with heads of Chinese firms operating in Egypt.
* Nigerian President Muahammadu Buhari heads a large delegation of ministers, governors, and heads of parastatals who have been negotiating agreements on behalf of their states and ministries on the sidelines of the summit. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. has been assured by China National Petroleum Corp. that it is committed to securing up to 85% of $2.8 billion needed to build the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, a statement from the corporation on Monday disclosed. The pipeline would enable connectivity between the East, West, and North that is currently non-existent. Funders would include the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, and
Infrastructure Bank of China, with Sinosure, China’s Export Credit Agency, providing insurance cover. The remaining 15% will be provided by the contractors.
* The President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, acting chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), appealed to China’s investment community to support the SADC region in developing its manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation, agriculture, and tourism sectors. Geingob said that, due to their extensive knowledge in industrial development and technology, Chinese will help SADC in realizing its dream.
* The Namibian delegation is negotiating a deal for the Chinese to finance a new national airport, while elevating their relations to that of a Strategic Partnership.
* Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said, at the summit, that the BRI is important to support Zimbabwe’s plan to be a middle-income country by 2030.
“Zimbabwe was only lucky,” he said, to the extent that 800 to 1,000 years ago there was trade between the Munhumutapa Kingdom and China when we imported porcelain and silk from here and in turn you got our ivory. But today the Road and Belt Initiative has taken everybody onboard so that our economies can talk to each other, so that our economies can help each other modernize and mechanize. We are getting connected and benefiting from each other.”
Mnangagwa said, “We are happy that this is a country that has never colonized anybody, who today is giving us a helping hand to grow. As a matter of fact, China is helping us to become a middle-income country. As a result of that helping hand we leapfrog and go into a modern economy. Left alone it will take us more years to develop with our domestic investment, but given the technology, given the assistance, the financial know-how, we leapfrog and become an important cog in the global economy.”